Exploring the intersection of security, technology, and society—and what might be coming next...
Standard Web Edition | April 6, 2017
I’m currently reading over 50 books a year, and I get a lot of questions about what I recommend.
UL Membership includes access to the book club, where we pick a book a month and talk about it live!
Below I’ll give one sentence about what each book is about, but I won’t try to sell it to you. The sell is simply that I’ve consumed a few hundred titles over the last several years, and these are my few recommendations from all of them.
It’s now the official Unsupervised Learning book list.
- Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior — My favorite book on the merging of Evolutionary Psychology with marketing and personality.
- The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature — This book taught me more science about human evolution and human nature than any other.
- Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst — An unbelievably broad and entertaining overview of how various factors effect human behavior.
History & Society
- Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow — An unmatched look at the history, present, and future of humanity.
- The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics — A stunning education into real-world politics that you can’t unlearn once you are exposed to it.
- Hamilton — A remarkable biography that taught me more about America than I’d learned any other way.
- The Real Internet of Things — My book on the future of the Internet of Things and how it’ll merge with society.
- Naked Economics — This book completely changed what I understood economics to be, and I’m now fascinated with it as a result.
Health & Productivity
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck — A short, spectacular work on the most important lesson of all: worry less about what others think of you.
- The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century — Less of a dating book about women and more about becoming comfortable with yourself in any situation.
- Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Predicting — A stunningly brillant book on how to become good at predicting things, told through true stories of the actual experts, with clear descriiptions of their shared attributes.
- Algorithms to Live By — A fantastic overview of the various algorithms you can use to optimize your daily life.
- The Dichotomy of Leadership — My all-time favorite book on leadership, because it focuses on the management of extremes.
- Name of the Wind — My favorite fantasy series of all time.
- The Graveyard Book — Supposedly a children’s book, but enough fun for 10 adults put together.
- Ready Player One — An unspeakably fun journey for anyone who lived through—or is a fan of—the eighties geek scene.
- The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect: A Novel of the Singularity — My long-time favorite story around the singularity and its fantasy-injected possibilities.
- Kill Decision — A novel-based exploration of numerous non-fiction concepts, with miniature drones being the centerpiece.
- Lexicon — A brilliant blend of hacking, psychology, and fantasy.
- If you don’t like my fiction selections because they’re not as refined as my nonfiction selections, I agree with you. Let me know what I should do to improve the list.
- It’s harder than you think to put books in order like this, especially as you start going down in the list. If it helps, consider it a recommendation of what order to read them in, not a hard statement of ultimate objective quality.
- Please send any recommendations. I’d love to improve the list!